The Groove Academy was founded in 1994 by Sydney DJ Scott Pullen. For the past 20+ years, Pullen has been one of Australia’s most sought after DJ’s playing at renowned venues and events locally and internationally including Sydney Olympics, Rugby World Cup, Melbourne Cup, and alongside brands including Veuve Cliquot, Paspaley, Qantas, Porsche and more. The Groove Academy agency was an organic carry on from Pullen’s success as a DJ and supplies some of Australia’s finest DJs, live acts and club acts to festivals including Sydney Festival, Adelaide Festival, Big Day Out among many premiere entertainment venues and brands including Ivy, The Star, The Argyle as well as international clubs located in China, India, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Fiji and more.
First of tell us about the Groove Academy. How many members are there? Who is playing what instrument and how did you guys meet?
The Groove Academy is a collective of Sydney’s finest musicians, singers & DJs. We can perform as a duo with DJ & singer, up to an 8 piece band with 3 singers. a 3 piece horn section drums & DJ. On this tour to Bali, we have Muma Megs & Red London on vocals, Dane Laboyrie on trumpet, Warren Jackson on drums/percussion & DJ Scott Pullen. We are music industry colleagues & met at various gigs.
Are you all the original members or have their been some changes since you first formed and when did you guys from? Oh yeah and we’re exactly are all you guys from?
I am the founding member of the band & have worked with many performers over the years, always improving & keeping the best performers. Muma Megs has been working with me for 7 years, Reigan 5 years, Warren 4 years & Dane has been with us for a year. This is a strongest line up to date. We are all based in Sydney.
Before heading to Bali for a string of shows over the next few weeks where else have you guys been playing? Do you have any residencies or regular shows at home?
In the last week we’ve played Brisbane, Adelaide, Port Douglas & Sydney. We held an 11 month residency at Ivy, we regularly perform at the Star Event Centre & we have held a 6 year residency at Australia’s premier ski resort, Thredbo.
How does your performances vary from venue to venue? For example Sydney to Bali?
We always read the crowd to create the most suitable vibe for each venue at any given moment. We can travel through chill out, funk, nu-disco & deep house to bangers, depending where we are at the time.
Do you travel with lots of your instruments? Must be some crazy excess luggage charges coming in sometimes? Whats the biggest excess luggage charge to date and where we’re you travelling?
The guys travel with their instruments except for the DJ & drummer. We have a backline hire to pick those up wherever we tour.
While on the topic of luggage and travelling has the kit or some of it not turned up before and what did you do to improvise?
Any other funny tour stories you can share with us where disaster turned into tour tales of the magical kind?
We played at a gig in Bali last year & it started absolutely pouring down with rain. We never gave up. I was DJing underneath garbage bags to try & keep the decks dry, but it was a hopeless case. Once the decks stopped, our drummer just busted out a groove & the singers started rapping. The crowd lived it & it was a real moment.
How do you guys work behind the scenes at home? Where is the studio? Any pictures?
Do you have a team working on your promotions, social media etc or the band all chip in?
I do all the work & they are all lazy. No, we just do what we do & we share the load. We work in different studios.
You’ve just been given 50k USD to buy some new studio and instruments. What you going to buy and why?
We would have to spend some money on a Neve desk with lovely pre amps
And a tasty set of Void front of house speaker system with 21′ subs
Also a HD digidesign fully sick protocols
Rigg – then a bunch of mics including Neumann U67 and Royer 122 matched pair a Jendix sub bass kick mic
Dane our trumpet player would like a Temby custom trumpet
Warren has always wanted some custom Yamaha drums
And we would also buy a lounge and some very comfortable pillows for the studio
We have blown the budget…
Any new production that we can expect to hear in your set since last visit or anything exciting we should be listening out for ?
We’ll be smashing plenty of new tunes, so keep an ear out
How do you guys best describe your sound in a couple of words? And is there any other band on earth you could compare you guys to so our audience can get a little bit more familiar?
If you guys were jamming where you think you would be right now and working where?
Warren would be a swimsuit model photographer, Meg would be a princess, Dane would professional ballet dancer, Reigan a spiritual healer & I’d be making documentaries..
While in Bali what else you planning to get up to in between shows? You’ve been here a few times now and special places you want to recommend to go hang out at or grab a bite to eat?
We love hanging out at Finns Beach Club & Karma Beach Club. We love eating at Mamasan & the Joglo & partying at Jenja til the sun comes up!
Last of all please tell us more ! What have we missed and what should Bali know about the Groove Academy that we dont already know?
We are like a tight knit family. We work hard, travel all over the shop & party like there’s no tomorrow. Hope to see you at one of our gigs!